Growing up, my family’s Christmas tradition was that on Christmas Eve, we (us five kids) got to have our stockings. Inside there was always an orange, some candy, and a toy—usually a puzzle of some kind that would keep us busy until bedtime.
The next morning, whichever of us kids woke up first would wake the others and we’d sneak into the living room to get a peek at what Santa had left under the tree. Sometimes there would be something not wrapped and we’d try to guess whose it was. We never went closer than a few feet to the tree, then we’d scramble back to bed and pretend to be asleep when our father came to wake us.
Now I’m going to admit to something that I’ve never told anyone. When I reached my teens, when no one was around, I’d carefully open presents with my name on them to see what was inside, then just as carefully rewrap them. This may be relative to my reading the end of a book first, but I’m not sure if there’s any correlation on that. 🙂
Sneaky me was still doing that after Jim and I married…until he caught me one time. Now he puts so much tape on my presents I’d have to tear the wrapping to get into them. Mean man.
When our son was small, we decided Christmas Day was all about him, so my husband and I started a tradition of having our Christmas after he went to bed on Christmas Eve. Jim first makes me a dinner of steak Diane and twice baked potatoes while I sit with my glass of wine and watch him flambé the steaks. Even after all these years, I’m still impressed when he lights that pan on fire. If I tried that, I’d end up burning the kitchen down.
After a delicious, romantic dinner, Jim and I open our presents using only the illumination of the tree lights and the fire in the fireplace. We take turns opening them, and I get a few extra turns, as there’s always more presents under the tree for me, something that makes both of us happy. He likes giving me presents and I like getting them. To this day, we still have our steak Diane dinner and Christmas Eve present opening even though our son is grown and married. Although I can no longer get away with peeking at my presents, I do shake them and test their weight.
Christmas is a time of giving, and there is nothing more gratifying than seeing a child’s eyes light up at the sight of a decorated tree, or presents, or even food. Each year there are toy runs, or fund raising activities to help families in need. I have seen children get as excited at seeing a ham or turkey among the gifts delivered as when seeing a toy, and it is always both sad and heartwarming. It is also a reminder to be thankful for all our blessings.
I’ll end this by wishing those who celebrate a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all!
I’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions.
Trivia Question: What does my husband make me for Christmas Eve dinner? (Enter your answer in the Trivia form at the top right of this page for a chance to win the awesome gift basket we are giving away Christmas Eve.)